Deciding between Marvin, Pella, Anderson, and Lincoln
We are adding a small addition to our home, and at the same time will be replacing all 11 window openings and the 3 sliding doors with new construction clad wood doors and casement/awning windows. After endlessly researching window manufacturers and the options available to each, I think I am even more confused than when I started! I did read each and every post on these forums regarding windows, and now would appreciate some specific advice/input.
We are looking at Marvin Ultimate aluminum clad, Pella Architectual, Anderson 400 Woodright (vinyl clad), and plan on getting a quote for Lincoln aluminum clad and possibly also Sierra Pacific. Cost is definitely a factor in decision, as we had an unrealistic budget for windows when we first embarked on this project. We were initially guesstimating cost based on replacement vinyl windows. Of course, after researching and looking at windows, we now do not want to settle for less than all wood with aluminum or vinyl clad for our project!
We have received quotes for Marvin (27k), Anderson (23k), and Pella (37-45k, depending on additional options such as shades and hardware). All quotes include install, and are basically for the same window size and grill options, except for Anderson - which didn't have sizes to accomodate our existing openings so adjustments had to be made (which we're not thrilled about).
I was disappointed with the Anderson quote, because the dealers I have consulted (who sold all three) all said Anderson and Lincoln would both offer significant cost savings over Marvin. However, Marvin's standard sizes fit our needs, whereas Anderson windows would require significant labor costs for cut-downs and fills, and this reduced the cost savings.
Since all of the windows replacements are outside the scope of our home addition, we were planning on going through a contractor who specializes in windows, rather than using our general building contractor(we don't want framers installing the windows). However, our contractor recommends Pella and says he can offer us significant savings through his contact. For reasons based on cost, quality, warranty issues, etc., however, I think I prefer choosing one of the other manufacturers.
So - my first question is for input as to whether the 4k price difference between Marvin and Anderson justify using Anderson, which offers fewer exterior color choices and also requires us to narrow (but make taller) some of our existing window openings? I know this is more of a subjective decision, but quality may be a factor also in looking at the cost difference.
My second question is, does anyone have any advice as to Lincoln or Sierra Pacific windows? There's a not a lot of input regarding these windows on the forums. One dealer said the cost of Lincoln is comparable to Anderson, so providing they have more standard sizes available like Marvin does, I'm hoping the quote will come in lower Anderson for our project. Both Lincoln and Sierra Pacific also have several attractive exterior colors available to choose from, which we are interested in for our rustic ranch home. However, we do not want to sacrifice quality in making this decision.
Thank you for any input or advice you may have.